Monday, January 20, 2014

Reflections on football...

Now that's not something I thought I'd ever write about, but I have learned a valuable lesson from my good friend Cody Adams...sports can relate to and teach lessons about other areas of life. So, being a mama of three fairly sporty boys, I'm always on the lookout for those lessons.

For what it's worth, here are my thoughts on last night's experience:

1. Sherman made an incredible play. He has serious talent and skill.

2.  When Sherman made that "choke" symbol to the 49ers player, he was being rude, or, as Ezra said it, he was acting like a jerk.

3.  I am sad that my boys saw him do that, but I am glad they recognized that it was not appropriate.

4.  I do realize that the 49ers player may have been saying rude things that we did not hear.

5.  That interview was funny to me, mostly because of the reporter's reaction.

6.  Sherman's actual words (if you can get past the yelling) most likely reflect the honest thoughts of many pro athletes who have the gumption to reach that level of play.

7.  I believe there is a different way to live and think about one's self, but, if I'm brutally honest, sometimes I feel that way about myself, too.

8.  I believe that Sherman is an intelligent man based on his past accomplishments, but that interview still makes me say "WOW".

9.  If I had just been running and jumping and stretching out my arm way far, particularly with all of that gear on, maybe I would have been yelling too.

10.  All in all, he's still a person just like me, and he likely has a mama who loves him and doesn't want me to assume that his public actions and interviews completely define least that's what I would want for my boys....BUT if any of my boys ever makes that choke sign at someone, they better believe they'll be in trouble with me, even if they are playing in the NFL.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Gap

Although you won't find me making fun of anyone who has made resolutions, I haven't made any for myself.  I also can't zero in on one word for the year as I have in some past years....

The one thing I can't get my mind off of or wrap my brain around, though, is our family's role in narrowing the gap between us and those who need things we have.  It has been eating at me for years.  I can point back to when I read the book The Irresistible Revolution as the starting point for the gnawing at my brain and heart.  Oh sure, we've done small things to try and narrow the gap...getting rid of (some) excess, giving more, doing our part (or at least attempting) to be nice to the planet, reaching out here and there, secretly meeting needs of people we know, adopting a boy in El Salvador and a girl in Ecuador through Compassion International, praying about whether we should adopt an orphan....  While these are all good things, and I'm grateful for the small changes our family has made, we still have an "us" and "them" mentality.  "We" help "them".  "They" need food or money, so "we" throw it towards "them".  "We" feel stirred, so "we" adopt another child through Compassion.

Meanwhile, we go on with our lives, spending the grocery money each week and only feeling angst when we've reached the budget limit and therefore the shoe polish Dad needed and the more expensive shampoo Mom wanted will have to wait until next week.  We have all that we need and more.  Our clothes are generally in style and they are certainly warm and in our size.  The gloves I got for Christmas (which I love) cost as much as caring for a child in Ecuador for a whole month.  Our vehicles, while I wish they were newer and had that new fangled "talk on the phone through your car" system, are not more than 10 years old and run well.

So, how do we reconcile this?  How do we narrow the gap and erase "them" and "us" from our vocabulary?  How do we enter into community with people who need things we have?  That's what I'm looking for this year.  That's what I'm praying about.  That's what I long for.  I can't reduce it to a resolution or a word, but it is what it is what is in my heart for our family...for 2014 and beyond.